The snow is melting and the sun is beginning to shine, Spring is here!!! It's time to pull out the bathing suits and dust of the grills because summer is right around the corner. In the mean time, spring break will have to do ; ) Whether you're one of the lucky ones that gets a week off to play or not, here are some green and economical tips to ring in the bright new flowery season!
- The Road Trip - A great money saving and green idea, as you can split the cost of gas with however many people you can fit in the car. It's also a great idea to get out of town for those who don't get to much time off, find a small town and make a point to visit the one thing that makes it famous. For cheap accommodations, research hostels before you leave, or pile your whole crew into an inexpensive hotel room or two. Plus you can always stay with friends and relatives along the way. Take back roads and plan ahead to see memorable roadside attractions.
- Volunteering for Spring Break - A great idea if you want to go somewhere, don't have coin AND want to give back. You can meet some wonderful people, make lasting memories spend Spring Break building houses or helping those in need. Check out the Charity Guide on volunteer vacations for more information.
- Camping. If you're the outdoor type, what better way to spend some time with your friends on the cheap? Or spend a bit more money and rent a cabin with a big group. Cabin rentals and campsites are often less expensive in the spring time so plan ahead! You can save a ton of money by packing a bunch of healthy food to cook as well as being in an area where you can get some good exercise whether it's a hike, a swim or a canoe ride ; )
- Cruises - Okay, this isn't exactly green travel but it may be a good bang for your buck in this economy. Cruise lines are practically giving trips away and they are a great way to see a lot in a little time. And if you plan ahead, you can make sure that they accommodate your special diet and you can feast like a king/queen as all meals are included in the price!! Also, cabins can sleep up to 4 people so that helps bring down the cost.
Spring Quinoa Salad
1⁄2 cup chopped and diced tomatoes
3 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
3⁄4 - 1 cup raw red bell peppers, finely chopped
1⁄4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1⁄3 - 1⁄2 cup diced cucumber
1⁄3 cup toasted pine nuts
2 - 4 tbsp chopped cilantro, parsley, or basil
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
3 1⁄2 - 4 tbsp Vegan Vinaigrette of your choice (depending on if you want an Italian or Caribbean flair)
4- 12 inch tortillas
2- 8ounce packages of vegan cream cheese, at room temperature
2 green onions (scallions), minced
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup diced celery
1 can pitted black olives, drained and sliced
1/2 teaspoon fresh herbs (dill, taragon or cilantro depending on taste)
fresh black pepper
In a large bowl mix all ingredients. Spread mixture evenly onto tortilla leaving about an inch of room around the edge of the edge you are rolling toward. After rolling is complete, tightly wrap tortillas in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight. Remove right before serving and slice into one inch pieces.
Spring Fever Cocktail
3/4 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz mango syrup
1 1/2 oz apple juice
2 oz blood orange juice
1 1/2 oz organic vodka
Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a tall glass half-filled with crushed ice.
I'm taking Spring Break myself so have a safe one and see you soon!!